Recent Grad Lands Job With THF’s Assistance

Brandon Tyler, a May 2016 graduate of William Paterson University, is currently working in A+E Networks’ Media Associates Program in New York. Though he is not a THF Internship Program alumnus, the THF team recommended him for the A+E two-year rotational program as a member of the Foundation’s talent pool.

“I knew when I was young that I wanted to work in television. I have aspirations to be on camera, and I also want to produce my own show. Working for a top media company was ideal for me after college so that I can learn more about the media and communications industries. That will give me an upper hand in what I want to do.”

Brandon first discovered the T. Howard Foundation in 2015 at the beginning of his senior year. He recalled seeing a THF flier, and it stated that the Foundation would be present at an upcoming campus internship/career fair. From the moment he saw the flier, which listed several media companies with which THF partners, he was interested in obtaining an internship through the Foundation. In addition, Brandon learned that the THF team is supportive throughout the application, interview, internship submission process and throughout career changes. He and a friend immediately went to the career fair to obtain more information, and applied for admission into the program. After submitting his application and interviewing with the THF team, Brandon became a member of the Foundation’s talent pool.

Admission into THF’s talent pool provides diverse college students with exclusive career preparation tools, as well as submissions to specific internships with THF partner companies. During his time in the talent pool, Brandon looked out for emails about internships and was a prospect for several summer opportunities. Because internship placement is not guaranteed to talent pool members, Brandon ultimately did not secure a THF-sponsored 2016 summer internship, but that didn’t by any means spell the end of his relationship with the Foundation.

One of the many benefits of being admitted into THF’s talent pool is that college students and young, diverse professionals can learn about careers in the media, entertainment and tech industries. This includes working with THF’s career & alumni manager, who makes recommendations and submits applicants to partner companies who are actively seeking diverse candidates for entry- to mid-level positions.

“I didn’t secure an internship over the summer through THF, but I received an email from the Foundation referring to the entry-level Media Associate Program at A+E. As soon as I saw it, I sent in my application and was chosen for a phone interview. After the interview, A+E requested that I submit a pitch video, explaining why I would be a perfect fit for the program. I sent in my video and I was chosen for the rotational associate program.” Brandon began is two-year rotational program in A+E’s New York headquarters this past July.

Brandon currently works in A+E’s newly formed talent department, and serves as a liaison between the network’s stars and the legal and ad sales departments. He also assists with messaging for A+E’s corporate social media accounts and is an administrator for the employee intranet. “I’m being trained in several different aspects of the company, which is giving me a great understanding of the media field.”

While Brandon’s training and work in the talent department is comprehensive, his favorite part of his new position is conducting research on the networks’ shows and talent, and keeping up- to-date on what they are doing on social media and in the real world. His favorite show of the moment is The Rap Game, starring Jermaine Dupri on Lifetime.

“The position at A+E is giving me hands-on experience into how television works and I am able to network with people in the industry every day. I’m learning everyday, and that helps me with my own show on YouTube.”

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Alumni Spotlight: Nkongho Beteck–Summer Internship Changed Career Goals

“This summer, I watched a CEO get hypnotized and a VP get a pie in the face, but along the way, I was able to have intimate meetings with senior leadership and complete the phases of an actual business plan to present to a company.

 I admit, at first I was not extremely excited about my internship position; I was envious of the other T. Howard interns who had positions at top media companies in New York. However, my eight weeks at SmartBrief showed me that an internship or job position, like life, TRULY is what you decide to make it, and I would not have traded this internship for any other.”

Nkongho Beteck I was born in Cameroon, and I now live in Salisbury, Md., and as a multiplatform journalism major at the University of Maryland, I always thought I wanted to be a female version of Woodward and Bernstein.

UMD Faculty Introduced T. Howard Foundation
The journalism school at University of Maryland is great because the faculty is constantly sending internship and employment opportunities, and that’s how I discovered T. Howard. I liked the fact that it is a designated program, which seems a little less intimidating.

During the T. Howard Internship Program interview process, I imagined interning in New York, because it’s the publishing capital. DC was my second choice, but it rose to the top because it’s closer to home and I could secure housing.

SmartBrief Culture Evident at First Meeting
After I was admitted to THF’s Final Talent Pool, I secured two interviews, including one at SmartBrief. When I went to SmartBrief’s office, the minute the assistant came up to me, I could already get a sense of how the work culture is. Shortly after my interview at SmartBrief, I was offered an internship in the content department.

SmartBrief is a news aggregator; they produce different newsletters for hyper-niche trade industries ranging from the confectioners sugar industry to the national retail industry. People working in particular industries can receive tailored newsletters just for those hyper-niche interests. That’s what made me fall in love with SmartBrief.

THF Intern Orientation Provided Opportunity to Meet Like-Minded Student Leaders
Before beginning my internship, I was really excited to meet the other interns at Summer Intern Orientation. Because THF interns are the “cream of the crop”—the go-getters at our universities—and to be in the room with other students who had similar mindsets was really fun, but also intimidating. It’s beneficial to be around people who have that mindset because you can pick and choose the characteristics you like in others, and that can end up making you a better leader.

SmartBrief Interns

2014 SmartBrief Interns

SmartBrief is Team-Focused, Yet Workers are Autonomous
The number one thing that made my internship great was that I had to be self-motivated from day one. SmartBrief is an organization where people are not going to micromanage you. I liked having the independence to do different things.

When I first came into the content department, I completed my assignments, including writing newsletter briefs, and thought that I’d like to work in the product department, because I was interested in the fact that that department was creating a new website. I ended up meeting with some of the supervisors, who were happy to help me. It was great having the flexibility to go to different departments—but it was up to me. I had to be proactive to do something more; not that I didn’t love what I was doing, but I really wanted to maximize the short time I had there.

I was surprised that people who were in senior leadership roles at SmartBrief really cared about how I was doing as an intern, and where I could go in the industry. They often asked me for advice on connecting with millennials.

Experience Changed Career Goals
Before my T. Howard internship, I wanted to be a reporter and produce content. The problem now is that I want to do everything! I love writing and being a team player, and I realized that I can apply my talents to a number of different types of organizations.

I’m now interested in knowing how consumers receive information, why they share things, why they like things and how to get people to interact more with the news—that’s where I see myself working.

Now I have an idea of entrepreneurship. I’m leaning more toward diversity in the workplace and catering to different audiences. I’d love to own my own multicultural, millennial, multi-lingual agency in the DC area, because its so diverse.

THF Creates Opportunities for Growth
I have more confidence now. The T. Howard Foundation builds a platform of confidence, where everything is really in our hands, and we have to continue to lead as we do on campus. It doesn’t stop here.

The amount of confidence I gained this summer is invaluable, and continues to shape the person I am.

Nkongho Beteck is senior multiplatform journalism major at University of Maryland, and T. Howard alumna (’14).

Alumni Spotlight: Anthony Gallegos, Mr. Reinvention–Part 1

Anthony Gallegos

Anthony Gallegos’ career path has consisted of unexpected events that forced him to reevaluate his plans, make new goals and remain resilient.

Anthony arrived at Temple University in 1998 from Irvington, N.J. with a lifelong love of music. Almost immediately, he began to immerse himself in radio by interning at WRTI-FM, a public radio station on Temple’s campus. “I started board operating and producing different shows my first semester at the radio station.” He would continue to build his skills in the radio industry through internships at commercial and hip-hop stations in Philadelphia.

A fellow Temple student informed Anthony about the T. Howard Foundation’s Internship Program in 2001. He applied, and was accepted into the Foundation’s Final Talent Pool. Shortly thereafter, Anthony was placed in an internship at Pegasus Communications in Philadelphia. His Pegasus responsibilities exposed him to the full process of producing advertisements, from pitching clients to the actual production of ads, which sparked his interest in television. He discovered that he could combine the audio production skills he acquired in radio with the visual components of television.

After completing the transformative internship at Pegasus, Anthony returned to Temple to complete his final year of college. Although he wasn’t a college graduate yet, Anthony already had an impressive résumé featuring several internships and had made contacts in Philadelphia’s large media industry.

Anthony’s transition from college to career, however, was not as smooth as he anticipated. The terrorist attack of 9/11 occured two weeks into his senior year, and as a result, many companies suffered and people lost jobs. Pegasus’s parent company was sold and the company no longer exists. “All hell broke loose in our country and the connections with my internships disappeared,” he recalled. “All of my contacts in the industry were gone.”

Anthony, along with many others, was job hunting in a tough economy and could not find work in the media industry. After graduating from Temple in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in communications, he moved home to New Jersey and took the first job he could find—a customer service representative position at a credit card company. It only took three months on that job before Anthony decided he had to follow his passion and return to the media industry.

Stay tuned for part 2 of Anthony Gallegos’s story in navigating the vast media industry.

Question: What would you do if you lost touch with the majority of your career contacts at the time of your job search? Reply in the comments section!

First Person Alumni Spotlight: Taylor Henriquez

It was the summer after my freshman year at the University of Georgia (UGA), and like many students home for the summer, I had a part-time job: a glamorous one at the local mall. That same summer, a friend was interning in New York at a major media company through the T. Howard Foundation (THF). My career aspiration was to work in fashion journalism, and while working in the media/entertainment industry was not a career path I had ever entertained, I applied based on my friend’s involvement with T. ImageHoward and gained internship experience.

I was also adamant on never using a t-shirt folding board ever again.

The following fall, I was accepted into the THF Final Talent Pool for the summer of 2010, and after a round of interviews, I was offered an internship with A+E Networks’ distribution marketing department in New York. The responsibilities centered on TV everywhere initiatives, which included creating competitive analysis reports and tracking performance metrics. The work was challenging, but my supervisor also served as my mentor who helped me gain confidence when working with analytics.

I applied for a second internship through THF for the summer of 2011, and was offered a position in the corporate communications department at ESPN in Bristol, Conn. The department was a great match that aligned with my public relations and journalism backgrounds. At ESPN, I was an editorial contributor for their corporate blog Front Row, and creator of the column, “Intern Chronicles.” I loved interviewing story subjects and writing about their experiences working at ESPN.

In May 2012, I graduated from UGA with a Bachelors of Arts in Journalism and kept in touch with my managers from both of my internships. Three months later, I accepted a position at A+E Networks as the Public Relations Coordinator for the international and corporate communications departments. My roles range from managing corporate’s social media presence on Facebook and Twitter, to creating digital newsletters for international channel partners and program sales clients on priority programs, ratings and marketing campaigns.

It’s an exciting time to work in media and entertainment, and I am glad to have been given a nudge from T. Howard to go forth and continue in that direction.